It must have been in the 1980s when business realised that the spending ambitions of a substantial economic cohort were being frustrated by lack of opportunity; the marketeers woke up, and the Pink Pound was born. Goods and services specifically attractive and available to inverts multiplied, from clothing to travel agents, and have been so successful that some have even 'crossed over' and now enjoy the custom of normal people.
We've been waiting for some time for an economically challenged business sector to recognise the frustrated spending power of the quarter of the UK population who smoke. The 'Tan Pound' has been straining at the leash awaiting spending opportunities; 'smoke friendly' hotels and holiday accommodation, package tours to places where smokers are not relegated to an outside area beside the refuse bins, tobacco-related merchandise and so on.
It is good news therefore that Belfast Airport has introduced a Smoking Lounge (albeit complying with the puerile restrictions of the 2006 Health Act) where for a charge of £1 'airside' smokers can enjoy a pre-departure smoke. Let's hope this is just the start of it; it's time for smokers to flex their economic muscles.